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tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  December 27, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PST

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follow the showon line on facebook and twitte twitter @mitchellreports and keep up with me on twitter and facebook. craig melvin is up next. >> how old is that picture? >> very old. >> that's like you in high school. >> i know. i keep it that way. people think i'm young. >> our college correspondent. >> yeah, i hide the gray hair very well. >> good to see you. coming up, craig melvin, msnbc headquarters, new york. justice under fire. a new government report says not only did the justice department not address sexual misconduct in its own ranks, it rewarded some who were accused. plus, broken system. three of america's biggest cities are now suing the pentagon, saying the department's failures have put guns in the hands of criminals. and turning the tables. prince harry interviewing president obama. harry and barry, the former president's warning about social
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media and some questions about a possible wedding invite as well. we'll get to that in just a moment. we start with the department of justice under fire again today. this time for failing to address complaints of sexual misconduct made by its own employees. the department's inspector general issued a report describing a systematic problem there with many of the alleged perpetrators receiving little to no punishment. and in some cases, even getting performance awards and bonuses. all of this coming as president trump continues to hammer the department, repeatedly questioning the credibility of the fbi and now a republican lawmaker taking it a step further, calling on the agency to purge its personnel. let's bring in the panel. julia ainsley, national security and justice reporter for nbc news, richer painter, chief white house ethics lawyer under george w. bush, nick ackerman, special watergate prosecutor and a partner with dorsey and
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whitney and an msnbc legal analyst. matt welch, "reason" magazine's editor-at-large. julia, what can you tell us about this doj report and how is the doj responding to it? >> there were some fairly egregious points that came out just in the summary of the inspector general's report which we have to remember came out in june. it's just coming to light now in part because our national conversation has shifted where we're taking allegations of sexual harassment more seriously, perhaps, in light of the harvey weinstein scandal. also, because "the washington post" was able to get more details. some of these details include an fbi supervisor who subjected his subordinate to three years of harassment. this person was told to sign a pledge to refrain from conduct and was counselled. that still continued. another piece that "the washington post" found, a deputy u.s. marshal had sex with nine women in his office.
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these are the kind of things -- >> how many? how many women? >> approximately nine. >> really? >> yes. that came from a freedom of information act from "the washington post." so, a lot of these things are coming to light now and are bringing more weight to this report. and people are looking at the justice department to figure out what they will do about it. and they issued a statement today. that statement was saying that they want to start -- they've convened a working group. yes, they're very disappointed with the issues that occurred in the obama administration and strives for a workplace free of harassment and other misconduct for all of our 115,000 employees. and they went on to say they convened a working group and those recommendations are forthcoming. >> to be clear, these offenses, did they all happen under the obama administration? do we know that for sure or were some of these offenses within the last year as well? >> so, that is the case. they did occur under the obama administration because the span
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of the report was from 2011 through the first half of 2016. that's not to say that we have any indication to think all of these problems magically disappeared when trump came into office and jeff sessions took over the justice department. the majority of justice department employees are career employees so they stay no matter who's in the white house. >> stand by if you can. i want to bring in richard for a second again. so, we've seen this spread across many industries now to congress, now the top law enforcement agency as well, richard. how prevalent is this behavior? how do we stop it? you know, this is a question we've asked a number of times on this broadcast. can the culture be fixed, especially inside government? >> well, sexual harassment is a very serious issue. in government, in corporations, in universities, a broad range of work settings. and it's not a political issue. it happens in republican administrations, it happens in democratic administrations.
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s and we need make sure policies are enforced and the justice department and everywhere else. and that people are encouraged to report sexual harassment. that's absolutely critical. the problem we're dealing with now is that the trump administration wants to politicize this issue for purposes of going after political enemies. that's what's been going on over the past couple of weeks. we saw that in connection with a number of allegations on the hill. now they're talking about a purge. the exact same language that was used yesterday before this report was discussed in the media. in which the trump administration and reporters on capitol hill want to purge the fbi, purge the justice department of people who are not loyal supporters of the president. and with respect to the civil service, that's a violation of the federal law. we need to make absolutely sure that sexual harassment allegations, sexual misconduct
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allegations, are not yet one more weapon to be used to accomplish the illegal political purpose of purging career civil servants from the justice department or any other agency. and i'm very concerned about that since the democrats put bill clinton at the head of the ticket in 1992, i know many republicans who see sexual harassment as a political weapon. and not a cause. it's not about women's rights. it's about a political weapon. and that's not the republican party i want to belong to. we need to take the issue seriously but not let it be used to purge anyone from our civil service without due cause. >> i want to highlight one case that was highlighted in "the washington post," actually. this involves a senior supervisor attorney in the office of immigration and litigation. he was accused of sexual harassment on a number of occasions, one of which included groping allegations. the case was investigated, resulted in a change of title or
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relief of supervisory duties but no suspension. when asked why he was not suspended, the deciding official in the civil decision said the suspension would, quote, unnecessarily deprive the government of his litigating services. is there a lawyer that valuable working for the government? >> i don't think so. this calls to mind something. we're in an interesting overlap where we're just talking about. it's hard to fire a federal employee. it's hard to fire someone from the civil servant. part of those protections are good. part of those we should rethink. not just in federal civil service, this is true of cops who abuse their positions, teachers in rubber rooms, et cetera. they sent that guy to a new division without telling those new people, oh, yeah, there are investigations, allegations here, and admissions of wrongdoing. in some cases, lying under oath to the government investigators. that should be a nonstarter or a deal-breaker for your justice department career if you're lying under oath about it. but the protections we have in
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place too often are used to hide or shouldn't away -- people who actually do bad work and not just are coming afoul of the political currents of the day. >> this particular case -- in this case we're talking about, the i.g. concluded that this was criminal behavior. this presented potential criminal behavior. at what point does it go from misconduct to criminal? >> i think at the point it's very intentional, going on for a long period of time and the person is lying. he's lying to investigators just like you said. that is a crime. i mean, that is falsifying information to the federal government. i think the problem here is this has been going on for a long time. it's because the justice department is male-dominated. there's not the same culture of training and sensitivity on this issue in the government as there might be in even some private
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industries where this has become a big issue over a number of years. because of civil lawsuits that have been brought. there hasn't been enough pain exerted on people who are perpetrating these actions that has wakeened up the bureaucracy that this is a serious problem. there's not enough training that goes on in the government to sensitize people to sex harassment, and there are not enough women promoted in the bureaucracy such that they have some control over what is going on. >> richard painter raised an interesting point a few moments ago. the fbi, the department of justice, of course, they are among the agencies, lead agencies investigating the president's alleged connections to russia. this is what congressman frances rooney said on msnbc yesterday about all of this. >> i'm very concerned that the doj and the fbi, whether you want to call it deep state or
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what, are off the rails. i would like to see the directors of those agencies purge it and say, we've got a lot of great agents, great lawyers here. those are the people i want the american people to see. >> calls for the purge there. not a surprise. >> not a surprise at all. in fact, the person that ought to be purged is this congressman. he's attacking our basic rule of law using the department of justice as a scapegoat, knowing the noose is tightening around donald trump and his group. with the flynn guilty plea, it's pretty clear, based on his allocution his lies in 2016 were relate to what went on in the campaign. so, there's either coming up a major indictment that will either be a conspiracy to violate the federal hacking law, and part of that may also involve the promise that sanctions would be dropped on russia for its invasion into crimea. so, when you put all of that
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together, the republicans are really just trying to help donald trump, who ultimately is going to be in big trouble over this issue because mike flynn wound up copping a deal with the mueller investigation. >> while i have you here, matt, i want to talk about this associated press report, donald trump and jeff sessions. the president apparently still putting some of the blame on the alabama senate election on jeff sessions. apparently blames sessions for a fair amount of things but recently in part blames sessions who necessitated that elections. is this relationship over? is this breakup inevitable? >> that's a good question. i'm not sure. who replace him? who's the next person that will take a bullet for donald trump? jeff sessions was the only real trumpian in the u.s. senate. it's not a place with populist
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firebranding railing about immigration and things like that and old five fashioned drug lawyers. that was the sessions caucus. there weren't that many people. now sessions went out there early e stuck his neck out early in the campaign for him and was treated like this within weeks of inauguration, who will be the next guy to go? the only person i can think of is tom cotton, who's willing to step up to that role. i think they're lashed together for the foreseeable future. >> good to see you. richard painter, thank you as well, sir. suing the defense department. why three major u.s. cities say the pentagon is not doing enough to keep guns from people who should not have them. and when harry met a former president. the new interview is out with a plea from president obama about social media and a couple of laughs as well. >> do i have to speak faster because i'm a slow speaker. >> no, not at all. but if you start using long
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the gun debate is now heading to the pentagon. san francisco, philadelphia and new york city are also in the department of defense over background checks of handguns. the court papers point to the former air force service member who slaughtered 26 people in a texas church last month. new york city mayor bill de blasio says, quote, this failure on behalf of the department of defense has led to the loss of innocent lives by putting guns in the hands of criminals and those who wish to cause immeasurable harm. i'm joined from washington by nbc news pentagon correspondent hans nichols. hans, how is the pentagon responding to the lawsuit, or are they just yet? >> well, right now they're saying it's with the justice department. the justice department because of the lawsuit is going to take the lead on it. earlier they said they wanted to
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work towards solving this because there's a recognition across the pentagon across all four services they have not adequate job reporting their felony convictions, someone who is court-martialed, that that paperwork didn't make it to the relevant national database. they did their own review when the ars force started this a couple weeks ago. they had some 60,000 cases going back to 2002. they found more than a dozen -- several dozen cases where things -- where the data wasn't properly transmitted. but that's u.s. judge the -- they expect to find more. there's an internal review taking a two-year period. 41% failure rate in the army, navy, marine corps. it was in the air force where they had a 14% failure rate. the air force started this problem, they have the best reporting requirements, at they're still far from perfect. >> what does the lawsuit itself aim to accomplish?
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what are they asking for in the lawsuit? >> well, in names, secretary mattis, it names all four secretaries -- three secretaries, army, navy, air force. they're trying to get them to be held in contempt if the department of defense is not in compliance with this very clear federal law that there needs to be this reporting taking place. they're basically looking to the courts for another avenue, for an enforcement mechanism to make sure the department of defense does what it's required to do under the law. that's why these cities, who they say they have the standing because it's cities who are dealing with a lot of law enforcement, they're saying they need to trust this national database. if it isn't cleanle and totally complete, it's the cities, they say, that are harmed, hence, their lawsuit. craig? >> the cases you cited here, a dozen so far that have been found. >> yeah. >> we expect more. is it just human error? is it just people not inputting the information correctly, or is it more than that? >> it's human and systematic. so, in some cases they may find
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that an individual, whether or not that's a lower ranking individual, didn't actually transfer the paperwork over to the computer, remember, a lot of this -- we know a little more about the air force because they went through this. a lot of this is base-specific. what procedures were taking place at each base where these court-martials were taking place. this is only the equivalent of felonies. there are some domestic violences as well. that takes the individual to look at the piece of paper, this requires a federal requirement and i need to input that into a database. they don't have a firm grap on if there was an entire air force wide system in place. the fact they're discovering there wasn't a system in place, gives you the sense it was a little more ad hoc and more subject to human error. >> hans nichols, thank you. a prince and a president. harry interviewing barry. how he seemed to call out
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president obama's social media use without ever using his name. >> how do we harness this technology in a way that allows a multiplicity of voices, allows a diversity of view, but doesn't lead to a balkanization of our society? waist-high snow in parts of pennsylvania. why people there are seeing a little relief on the horizon. plus, why a planeful of folks just made an eight-hour flight from los angeles to los angeles.
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some of the top stories we're following on this wednesday. police say four ohio teenagers threw a sandbag from an overpass, hit a moving car and killed a passenger in toledo. the 13 and 14-year-olds have been charged with murder. 22-year-old bird died on his injuries on friday. he was engaged with a 1-year-old son. singer joy villa has filed a sexual assault case against corey lewandowski, accusing him of hitting her twice on the buttocks at a trump international hotel party this past november. she gained national attention earlier this year when she wore a make america great again dress to the grammys. she plans to meet with investigators next week.
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today's scheduled tiebreaker. virginia's house of delegates has been postponed until next week. the virginia board of elections was set to choose the winner by lot. that could mean drawing strauss or pulling a name out of a hot. democratic challenger simmons had been petitioning the delay of the drawing to allow further review of the ballots. if she beats her republican opponent yancy there would be a 50-50 split in the house and the first time in decades the republicans were not in control in the commonwealth. a passenger mix-up forced aid l.a. tokyo bound flight to return. once the pilot was notified a passenger was mixed up, he had to return as part of airline security procedure. chrissy teigen and john legend were on that flight.
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teagan live tweeted the entire experience at one point calling it a flight to nowhere. a bitter cold snap is gripping much of this country. some places are dealing with windchills well below zero. weather advisories are in effect through much of the northeast and great plains with nearly two-thirds of the country experiencing temperatures at or below freezing. in erie, pennsylvania, they're used to a lot of snow, but the latest storm has become one for the record books. nbc's ron allen remains on duty for us in erie, pennsylvania, where it looks like it is just as cold but looks like the snow stopped, ron. >> reporter: yeah, that's the big news, craig, the snow has finally seemed to stop. it's been snowing for several days. pretty much since christmas eve. they have about 5 feet, roughly. it's hard to keep track of it. you can see out here, we're out in the county a little bit. and the snowdrifts are piling up. the roads are still kind of covered with snow. the secondary roads are -- some
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are not plowed yet. there's an amazing amount of snow out here. we came out here, too, because there's a national guard unit over here that was called by a nursing home in this area to come and shovel out their exits and entrances. they were concerned about what could happen if there was some kind of an emergency and they needed to evacuate people. that's what the national guard has been doing around this county all day, trying to help out medical facilities and other places where people might be shut in. that's one of their missions. there is still a state of emergency in effect here. the county executive declared that. we were speaking to her a little while ago. she said basically because that frees up a lot of federal and state resources that can come and help this community get through this. the biggest problem they have now are people who are trapped in their homes or can't get out of their driveways. the main roads are passable. we've been driving around. for the most part, you can get where you want to go. there's still ice and snow on the roads so you have to be careful but you can get where you need to go but it's the secondary roads. the other big problem, there's
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more snow in the forecast. several inches. they say they got 7 inches today but several more coming over the next couple of days and another storm rolling through the weekend. when i asked, when is this over, the county executive said basically march. >> wow. >> reporter: it is one for the ages. talked to local people here, they say they can't remember when this has happened before. about 50 years ago is when it happened before. it's an unusual freak snowstorm. good news, schools are closed, businesses are closed for the holiday. so, fewer people are out trying to get around. but the good time to stay at home and let this all kind of settle down and let the plows do their work. it's going to be around be for a while because the temperatures are very low. it's 10 or 11 degrees last time i checked. welcome to erie, pennsylvania. even the locals are shocked by what happened here. >> more than 60 inches of snow. hard not to be shocked. ron allen in erie, thank you. to the most talked about story of the day.
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president obama interviewed by prince harry on bbc radio. among the many topics, he gave a sharp warning about social media fostering division. >> all of us in leadership have to find ways in which we can recreate a common space on the internet. one of the dangers of the internet is that people can have entirely different realities. they can be just cocooned in information that reinforces their current biases. >> in his first interview since he left the presidency, mr. obama reflected on the end of his term. he also laid out some aspirations for the future as well. nbc's matt bradley is in london, following the story for us. mr. obama also, matt, talked candidly about what he was thinking during the inauguration roughly one year ago. tell us about that. >> well, president obama spoke more about the satisfaction and
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certainty he felt upon leaving office. if you're looking for the former president to criticize or attack his successor, donald trump, you'll be disappointed. as always, president obama held back. he didn't even mention president trump by name. in that quote you just played, was the closest he came to a veiled swipe at the sitting president. he did go into a little personal detail about how he felt leaving the white house as a private citizen. take a listen. >> can i take you back to the 20th of january, 2017. you've sat in marine one, the presidential helicopter, flying over washington. you've sat through the inauguration with your game face on. you weren't giving much emotion away, as we all saw. what's going through your mind? >> the first thing that went through my mind was sitting across from michelle, how thankful i was that she had been my partner through that whole process. the sense that there was a completion and that we had done
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the work in a way that preserved our integrity and that left us whole, and that we hadn't fundamentally changed, i think, was a satisfying feeling. now, that was mixed with all the work that was still undone and concerns about how the country moves forward. but, you know, overall, there was a certainty there more than i would have expected. >> and the former president even admitted to sleeping in a bit, now that he's no longer the president. and he complained bl having to sit through traffic no that he no longer gets to ride around in the presidential limousine. >> when you don't have a motorcade, it makes it more difficult to get around, i would imagine. i want to play more from the interview. this is the feeling that institutions like the presidency, over the monarchy as well, perhaps aren't as revered
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as they once were. take a listen to this. >> this generation coming is the most sophisticated, the most tolerant in many ways, most embracing of diversity, the most tech savvy, the most entrepreneuri entrepreneurial, but they don't have much faith in existing institutions. >> it's too easy for people to criticize millenials for being superficial, selfish and self-obsessed. >> yeah, i just haven't found that. i haven't seen it. i think it is an indication of the disconnect between -- >> generational divide. >> not just a generational divide. i think it's also the bias of those who are comfortable with power as it's currently exercised. >> the you are more british than i. is there a sense in london that there is nothing sacred anymore? >> well, i'm not too british,
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craig, but for many here -- i think you're right. that's a welcome change fomp a lot of people here. these institutions here in britain, they are much older than the ones president obama is referring to back in the united states. this interview shows -- it's another indication of that kind of change. remember, we have a sitting member of the royal family acting as a journalist for the b bbc. that's another example of the royal family putting themselves out there, presenting themselves in a more accessible way. that's similar to prince harry's own story. he just got engaged to a divorced american actress, meghan markle, and just like this interview, a generation or two ago that would have seemed very, very strange. seeing this american getting married to a royal. seeing a royal interviewing a former president. so, the royal family, they're shedding their reputation for being formal and fussy and starting to mix more with their subjects and people around the world. so, for them, it's not just about being nice or being loved, it's about surviving as a royal
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family. they're starting to really do that. that's the imperative behind all this here. >> before i let you get out of here, i want to talk about the royal wedding coming up on may 19th. prince harry said president obama was the easiest interview to get and also answered cagily when asked about a potential wedding invitation being offered to the former president. here's that. >> well enough to invite him to your we hadding? >> i don't know about that. that's -- we haven't put the invites -- all the guest lists together yet. who knows if he'll be invited or not. wouldn't want to ruin that surprise. >> an interesting answer. is there some concern that inviting president obama could be tricky diplomatically? >> well, yeah, i mean, that's really a tough one. you saw when the tables were turned on the prince how awkward he was when he had to answer a question about that. there's some worry here because an invitation for former
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president obama would probably require an invitation for president trump. and that's a big deal because president trump was invited to a state visit nearly a year ago by prime minister theresa may. that's been delayed several times, for more than a year. that's mostly because the president here is so unpopular and is expected if he came, he would be met with millions and millions of protesters. a few things can upstage a royal wedding, but a visit by president trump would definitely be one of them. >> matt bradley in london, thank you. passed over. the distinction that typically goes to the president or incoming president that donald trump did not win this year. and the pair who did win may put a little extra salt in the wound. plus, looking ahead. the issue republicans may take on in 2018 that could pit paul ryan and mitch mcconnell against one another. for your heart...
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president trump is spending the day at his florida golf course for the second day in a row after tweeting monday it was, quote, back to work after the christmas holiday. the president has now spent more than a third of his days in office at trump-branded properties across the country. 86 of those days at trump golf properties. msnbc's garrett haake is there in west palm beach, florida, where the president is spending his working vacation. all seems quiet down there in florida today.
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what's on the president's agenda when he returns to washington, garrett haake, or do we know? >> reporter: we do know. a couple of big issues. we expect the president to meet with republican congressional leaders, more or less as soon as he gets back in washington to talk about the road ahead. we know there are several areas of agreement, things we know they have to address in the not so distant future. an infrastructure plan is very high on the wish list for all of the republican leadership, bette in the white house and in congress. there's recognition there has to be some kind of work done and potentially a deal reached on immigration to deal with the d.r.e.a.m.ers in particular. democrats have been agitating for this for some time. the deadline, the hard deadline set by the president is march, but there have been some rumblings from members of congress that they would like to address this sooner than later instead of right up against the wire. and some issues of contention between the leadership of the house, the senate and the white house. the president has said he would like to look at welfare reform
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next year. paul ryan would probably agree with that. he's talked about reforming entitlements including welfare, partially medicare and medicaid. stop me if you've heard this one before, that's not going to fly in the senate. the majority in the senate for republicans is so narrow, will be nair rrower next year when d jones gets there, that it may be impossible to do. mitch mcconnell talked about this saying, look, entitlement reform is one thing one party can or should take on on their own, especially an election year. it's such a lightning rod. there is some tension between the house and the senate on that issue. the house would very much like to do it. the senate's looking at a math problem where rand paul could wake up on the wrong cited of the bed and vote no or john mccain could be out sick and not able to vote. all of a sudden the republicans don't have a majority on anything they want to get done. some broad areas of agreement. potentially some internal family
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feuds next year. but a very busy january regardsless for the president and for leaders in congress. >> do we know with whom the president played golf today? >> reporter: not yet, craig. we're working on it. >> all right. garrett haake, i know you're working hard down there in balmy west palm beach, florida. garrett, good to see you. thanks, buddy. let's bring in the panel, msnbc post hugh hewitt and dana milbank from "the washington post" is also with me. hugh, let's start with your reaction to what we heard before the break there, without naming any names, former president obama telling prince harry that world leaders should act responsibly with social media. are we reading into this or is that a direct dig at trump? >> i don't think it's a direct dig at the president. i don't think president obama has that poach to the post-presidency. president bush never personally criticized president obama and i don't think you'll see president obama come out and personally
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criticize president trump. it's a very small club. they're very aware of it. but the social media problems, the amplification of extremes, the addiction to outrage, those are issues i think president obama correctly identified as growing, not getting smaller. and with -- with prince harry at the microphone, i thought that was an interesting exchange. he's a threat to my world of talk radio, i think. >> it was a fascinating conversation. it's also clear that the two of them have quite the rapport. there's this new gallup poll out. gallup does this roughly at this time every year. they name the most popular folks, the most admired people of 2017. there's a look. right now barack obama, 17%. donald trump, 14% pope francis right at 3%. hugh, does that just add insult to injury? >> no, you know, i don't think president obama is ever going to lose that. i think he's got an international stature that transcends time and place because he's the first
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african-american elected in the united states to the presidency. and he's a very affable fellow. president trump is not affable. president trump is a divider. and that is never going to change so in his numbers will always be lower than president obama's. but if you contrast what president trump got done legislatively in his first year compared to what president obama got done, president trump looks better than president obama. so we have to let this play out over a long period of time. >> dana milbank, you have a new headline in "the washington post." trump rams greatness down our throats. you write, in part, quote, in this holiday season a familiar question arises. is president trump trying to undermine democracy or is he just ir redeemably vain? why do you write that? >> i was beginning the column with what he did recently with the commemorative coin in which the presidential seal was defaced, i would say. no longer was there plerubus, no
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longer the 13 states represented in the eagle's talons. and in four places donald trump's name was mentioned and it was basically a celebration. it was bigger, more gold, more colorful than any coin before it. i thought this was a bit of a metaphor for the presidency and suggested various ways in which he might transform other slogans and other items like the supreme court. so, this is what trump has done. is it doing it because he's vain or is he taking the cue of people who are not, shall we say, democratic leaders? we've got a few more years to figure out which way this goes. >> gentlemen, senator orrin hatch, as you know, close ally to president trump, heaped a ton of praise on him last week. he's responding now to this
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blistering salt lake tribune editorial that called for him to step down as they named him utahn of the year. his spokesman says, quote, we all sincerely hope members of the salt lake tribune editorial board find joy this holiday season in something beyond baselessly attacking the service and integrity of someone who has given 40 years for the people of utah just to satisfy their unquenchable thirst for clicks. are orrin hatch and other republican lawmakers, are they in a tough spot with this president, as "the washington post" puts it, you're damned if you join him, you're damned if you don't? >> orrin hatch is in a tricky situation because he apparently didn't read the editorial when he tweeted out the item showing him to be the top utahn. i think the salt lake tribune is a terrific and mischievous paper. that's not only because they run
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my column, but they are correct that -- i had to get that plug in there. >> shameless. >> but they are correct about what orrin hatch has done. he's basically transformed himself as, you know, the senate president pro tempe, a man of moderation, a man who had cooperated with ted kennedy at times. now it's hard to find somebody in the senate who has been more down the line a trump supporter, primarily the author of this tax cut, which is proving deeply unpopular so far. look, orrin hatch is not a young man. his future is -- is secure. it's really a question everybody's looking at, is he going to continue on and run again. >> you also forgot to mention it was orrin hatch who is one of the fathers of the children's health insurance program in this country, c.h.i.p. hugh, dana, this is likely the last time we'll chat on television before next year so i wanted to take an opportunity, and i'll start with you, hugh,
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your biggest story of 2017, most important story of 2017, and the most, perhaps, underreported story of the year as well, hugh. >> i think they're connected, craig. the most important story is the defeat of isis in syria and iraq. this is an almost total defeat at this point. mosul has been liberated. it was a rampage. it was a destructive, it was a genocidal period of years for a number of communities, the christian communities in that period, and their liberation is long overdue and much welcome. the most underreported story is connected which is, with isis gone, we're seeing the alignment of the sunni arab states, with the exception of qatar, along with israel, it's under the radar but it's there. the united states and some of our european allies in a front to oppose iranian-led shia extremism in the region. so, that story is going to come into, i think, full focus and relief in the course of the next
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year. i think it's going to command president trump's attention a lot. >> dana milbank, quickly to you, good sir. >> the big news everybody's talking about is the utter dominance of craig melvin in the 1:00 p.m. in the cable news. but leaving that aside, i would say it's the russia story. not just the mueller stuff, but i think that's important. the fact we've learned so much about how they meddled in our election and how much trouble they're causing us around the world whether it's in the middle east or north korea or whether we're chasing their submarines around the world. i think that's the most important and i think the most overlooked is the way this president has transformed the federal judiciary. not just with the gorsuch confirmation, but a dozen appellate nominees. he entered office with more than 100 federal judge vacancies because republicans were so good at holding up during obama's term. when those are all filled, he will have completely transformed the federal judiciary and it's basically done under the radar.
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>> is it will likely be his lasting legacy, according to a lot of folks. dana milbank, happy new year to you. hugh hewitt, happy new year to you, meets comedy, the issues that made late-night comics get pretty serious this year. i used to have more hair. i used to have more color. and... i used to have cancer. i beat it. i did. not alone. i used to have no idea what the american cancer society did. research? yeah.
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but also free rides to chemo and free lodging near hospitals. i used to maybe give a little. then i got so much back. i used to have cancer. call 1-800-494-4357 today. your contributions to the american cancer society fund valuable research. but that's just the beginning. a cancer diagnosis can kick off years of challenge. and that's where your donation truly shines. you help us fund free rides to treatment. a live 24/7 help line, free lodging near treatment centers. and even efforts to expand access to insurance. so, please - donate today at cancer.org and help attack cancer from every angle.
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this year in late-night tv, politics meant comedy in a way we haven't quite seen before.
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times things got serious, even sad. but we can always count on our late-night shows for a laugh at our elected officials' expense. >> welcome, welcome, thank you. thank me. thank me. thank me. and buckle up, because i'm coming in hot. >> according to a recent article, chardonnay is making a comeback. >> and they said i wouldn't be able to create jobs. [ chanting: boo ] >> i'll pretend those are mooches and not boos, steve. >> you are charged with the job of going in front of the press and saying that the inauguration crowd was the biggest crowd, i think, ever -- biggest audience ever. >> yes, i'm aware of that. >> even though the tonight show isn't a political show, it's my pon responsibility to stand up against intolerance and extremism as a human being. >> they did an echo cardiogram,
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which is a sonogram of the heart and found out that billy was born with heart disease. no parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child's life. thank you! hi, i'm jimmy, this is billy. i was out last week, because this guy had heart surgery. but lacook, he's fine, everybod. >> the jury of your peers, your community, sees this evidence and decides that even this is self-defense. that is truly depressing. because what they're basically saying is, in america, it is officially reasonable to be afraid of a person just because they are black. >> now, i don't want to belittle the devout beliefs of second amendment enthusiasts. we all know god wants us to have guns. he says it right there in the nine commandments. but thoughts and prayers are not a substitute for action. and pretty much all americans want action on this. >> this is the time i would like
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to reflect on all the good things i've done this year. it will only take a minute. >> before we begin, i know that myself and the press have gotten off to a rocky start. okay, okay all right, all right! >> i'm the attorney general of the whole united states. >> voters in alabama will never elect someone who's had relations with a minor. >> you sure about that? >> no. >> it's not george dr. octopus, it's george papadopoulos. >> george -- >> papadopoulos. >> papa -- >> dopoulos. >> all right. >> thanks to our friends at the nbc news digital team for putting that one together. we will be right back.
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that's going to do it for this hour of "msnbc live." i'll see you tonight on "nbc nightly news." katy tur now standing by for a little bit more. >> i'lltuning in. >> you and my mother. >> two viewers is. just kidding. it's 2:00 p.m. out west and we begin our show with a question. can time really heal all wounds? if your name is donald trump or jeff sessions, maybe not. a new report from the associated press says the rift exposed between the two men in july is getting deeper. the latest strike against sessions taking the job the presiden

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